Monday Morning Quarterbacking

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DDAmerica once admired courage. Now its highest political leaders and many citizens attack it. Because courage is challenging what America stands for. Does it mean keep your guns, but give up your speech? Does it mean these with identified mental health issues can buy guns while silent protesters are fired?  Does a President have the right to demand persons be dismissed from their jobs because he disagrees with their legal and honest means of protest of injustice?

Yet again, Donald Trump comes to America spoiling for a fight. Increasingly, these fights oppose fair play. More and more, these brawls are aimed at freedom’s rights–and at the people of color and women who exercise them. Too often, this pattern is repeated: a protest of police shootings, violent deaths, the lost of healthcare, the ban on travel, the withholding of funds from cities that will not perform federal law enforcement functions–protests are immediately condemned and followed by threats. These threats call for harsh retaliation. Lost of jobs, lost of funds. Firings, failure.

The irony of a man whose career was built on bankruptcies–who proved unable to operate casinos with the odds legally rigged for the house–a man who brags about lies thinks being President makes the world subject to his petty whim.

Know that Trump’s desperation for fights and conflicts desecrates the America he falsely claims to support. He actually hates America! He has attacked every major American institution: the press,  the courts, the Congress, the Senate, the intelligence community, states governors, his attorney general, his former FBI director, America’s international allies. Trump has weaken alliances and reneged on America’s leadership, letting Russia expel US embassy personnel, letting China take the lead in Asian trade–even attacking South Korea’s trade agreement while the country is under threat from North Korea. He has attacked the mayors of London and Paris after terrorist attacks. He tussled with the Pope and had phone fights with Mexico and Australia. He has called for police to rough-em-up when arresting suspects.

He has attacked women individually, by word and deed–he has a clear, proven record of assault even if his crimes were never brought to court. He is grossly inappropriate, as he was with an Irish newscaster and the French President’s wife. He continues his “crooked Hillary” meme. He disbanded his manufacturing council before its members resigned over his remarks that “fine people” joined with neo-Nazis carrying clubs and guns–carrying Nazi flags–chanting “blood and soil” (which announces we will spill your blood and take your land), a slogan that bears the full-throated threat of violence, to protest the removal of statues erects as shrines of white supremacy.

He who says he will keep America secure tells America violence hits in football, which have caused severe brain injuries documented by tens of post mortem autopsies of former players brains, should be put above safety on the field.

Now, he demands, professional football team owners (many he knows, he says) “fire” the “sons of bitches” for kneeling in silence. To protest injustice.

Trump is sick. View him from any perspective. No amount of blame, bullying, labeling, blustering, screaming, shaming can hide his growing, expanding painful sickness, his mental breakdown and descent into white supremacy, his brier patch of comfort.

Trump has become a sad excuse for a world leader and a pathetic pretense of incompetence whose oppositional-defiance recycles every 24 hours. His worst criticism has emerged as an obsession of low ratings. His mind is closed off from all other measures of response. He has no moral code. He has no understanding of the constitution. He sees freedom through the prism of white privilege. His narcissism is a multi-sided mirror; he is trapped by his empty image. He brays like a blind mule. He is drifting in free fall, into the lower regions of the void, trying to fill his emptiness with power. He desperately demands it. Never peace. Never truth. Never hope.

Engaging these threats and lies distracts from the original focus of the protests. In the latest imbroglio, NFL players, some who have respectfully kneeled in silence during the playing of the national anthem, are accused of disrespecting the flag. Simply because they refuse to stand. These players have not disrupted the anthem’s performance. Their protest is silent. Then why all the noise, especially from the President? Why have so many fans bought into the narrative that the protest disrespects the flag?

Focusing on the flag is an easy excuse for exhibiting a bully’s bravery–a demand for obedience to an injustice. A denial of the protest real intent–injustice. In this case, a demand so silent, that kneeling is too loud a gesture. That quiet respect is too much for America to become woke to its contemporary treatment of black lives and other lives, students with special needs, women raped and found dead in jails, Hispanics rolled up as they pick up their children from school, the thousands of incidents of hate that include burning mosques and killing neighbors’ families for differences in religion and heritage, even killing those in bible study in a Charleston church founded on the cusp of freedom.

The players courage is spoiling the narrative not of white privilege, but the demand for minorities to be obedient and submissive in the face of injustice. It is threatening the authority of injustice. While protests by neo-Nazis and white supremacy over oppression enshrined in bronze in the public square as said to attract the support of “fine people,” courage is turned into something ugly when athletes respectfully protest injustice, especially police violence.

Trump is demanding America’s institutions support the authority of injustice–he’s looking for good people to be allies with the authority. So fans boo athletes that want to save lives. Fans say it is disrespect to the flag. They ignore that the athletes are calling attention to the highest standards of the flag–the standards of liberty and justice for all that the flag represents–as they kneel because in many communities there is a persistent pattern of denying both liberty and justice. Too many innocent people are being killed or arrested and the systems are holding no one accountable. Yet people are up in arms about a protest where there is no disrespect.

So calling out the crime is booed. Banished as unpatriotic. The accusation is made worst than the sin.

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